With the explosions of music production and music producers, we are starting to see more and more people dive into different types of VST’s. The Celesta VST is definitely one of those as they are used for all sorts of different orchestral production.
It is my opinion that the best celesta VST’s & samples sound incredibly realistic and have a great use for music production. This is a virtual instrument that I enjoy to play with a keyboard as I am a keyboard player and it plays well.
Note: If you are like to do film scores, John Williams has said in interviews that he likes to use all sorts of orchestral VST’s.
What Is A Celesta & What Type Of Music Would I Use One?
The Celesta is classified as an idiophone. What this means is that it makes sound by the whole instrument vibrating. It looks and operates very similar to a piano, with a smaller cabinet.
This instrument is similar to a glockenspiel, only it sounds much softer, and to me, that’s a good thing. It has a very warm and inviting sound that isn’t harsh-sounding.
Because of this, it makes for a great instrument for films and video games.
To me, it reminds me of the sounds from nostalgic videos games, such as Final Fantasy. It sounds very similar to instruments that you would hear in their music catalogs since it is such a pretty sounding instrument.
If you’re a fan of older music, Alan Parson’s would be a band that I could see taking advantage of this instrument and VST.
Fun fact: The celesta is featured in Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker.”
If you have a knack for unconventional instruments, check out my guide to the best melodicas here.
Best Celesta VSTs
Pianoteq put together an incredible product with their celesta. They used a process calling “physical modeling” in order to achieve the sounds that they captured. Basically, this process looks at things from a mathematical perspective. In doing so, you get an incredibly realistic sound.
They modeled the sound after a 5-octave German brand. I personally think that the layout on this plug-in is perfect. It’s really easy to use and you can tweak the sounds immediately to your liking.
A great feature with this in my opinion is the delay. You mess with the mix on the delay’s and tweak them to your liking easily as well.
The sound deparment on the Pianoteq celesta is on point. Incredibly realistic modeling that will have you thinking you’re playing a real celesta.
This is a great choice for producers and especially film scorers. The ease interface mixed with the sounds makes Pianoteq top-notch.
The Sonokinetic samples are created from using high quality microphones and high ceilings. For this specific sample, they used Neumann large membrane microphone and a Violet Audio Flamingo Stereo microphone.
I personally really enjoy Sonokinetic’s samples as I feel like they just give you so much realistic noise.
The interface is super easy to navigate and the background displays an old school celesta. This leads to a really cool vibe while you’re working. I believe this VST plays extremely well with a controller as well.
As said above, some incredible microphones made for some amazing samples. A lot of thought was put into these celesta samples and I think it was a big win.
If you like sample-based instruments, you will enjoy these. I personally enjoy Pianoteq celesta a little bit more, but I’m also more familiar with it.
This company launched in 2003 in Italy. Since they have been making some quality products and their celesta is another prime example.
These sounds were chromatically sampled and they also can sustain. This is a big plus to me and other producers who are playing it from a controller. There is also independently controlled pedal noise, which is a nice feature to take advantage of.
Note: There are 101 different high-quality reverb effects to pick from with this sample pack.
Chocolate Audio has created a beautiful sounding celesta. I personally found this to be an easy plug-in to navigate through. The pre-sets are simple to shuffle through and most of them sound great right from the start.
Check out my favorite harmonica VSTs here. These are options that are fun for certain types of music production.
This is definitely worth checking out and I think overall it is one of the better celesta sample packs available.
There’s a lot that goes into music production, if you have anything to add on these VST’s, let me know in the comments below.
I hope that you were able to find a celesta VST that you enjoy from this post as I believe these are the best ones out there to offer.
There aren’t a ton of great options available for celesta yet, but I think in time there will be more options. Make sure to give each plug-in the time you need in order to learn how to use it properly.
There can be a learning curve with each and sometimes sticking it out will lead to the results you want.